The Pentland Centre’s research is about over-arching global sustainability issues, but many of those issues also have an impact on a local scale, and we care about what happens in our communities.

As part of the University’s overall strategy is to “Engage actively with students, businesses and our communities” we have chosen two local initiatives focussing on food poverty and the circular economy to support.

Morecambe Bay Foodbank is located in the West End of Morecambe, and is part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by the Trussell Trust. They provide three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people in crisis. People living round the corner from you and me cannot afford to eat. It’s not just that they can’t afford a takeaway, they simply don’t have any cash to buy food. It is a huge stretch to make a low income – whether from zero hours contracts, disability benefits or Universal Credit – cover rent, heat, travel to work and food, especially if you have a family. One apparently ‘small’ problem or issue can tip people into debt and financial crisis.

Fashion Revolution Week is an annual global campaign calling for a more transparent fashion industry that values people, the environment, creativity, and profit, in equal measure. The local organiser of Fashion Revolution Week is Sewing Café Lancaster: a Lancaster-based community project that advocates for ethical clothing and textiles as well as to re-establish a ‘make do and mend’ culture. They run regular textile workshops as well as providing a weekly drop-in session for refugees and asylum seekers.

Click on the images below to find out more about these two initiatives, and the ways in which the Pentland Centre supports them.